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Delta Updates 2015 SkyMiles Program

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On the heels of Delta Pulling their SkyMiles Award Charts from their website, Delta just announced a few changes to their 2015 SkyMiles programwhich includes domestic one-way awards now starting at 10,000 SkyMiles while implementing a 21-day advanced purchased on select flights, and now the ability to earn Medallion Qualifying Dollars on partner airlines.

Delta is making some updates to their 2015 SkyMile program.
Delta is making some updates to their 2015 SkyMile program.

Per Delta, details of the changes to Delta’s SkyMiles program include:

  • New One-Way Award tickets beginning as low as 10,000 miles plus taxes and fees, available through Dec. 31, 2015 for travel in select U.S., Mexican and Caribbean markets. Customers can now fly to several popular Award destinations with a 21-day minimum advance purchase.
  • Improved Award redemption by expanding the number of airline partners that SkyMiles members can select to redeem for Award Travel on delta.com. Delta recently updated the Fly Delta app to give customers the ability to book Award travel from mobile devices. Since January, Delta has offer customers the ability to book SkyMiles Award travel through the Fly Delta app.
  • Customers can now earn MQDs, regardless of ticketing carrier, for travel on most of Delta’s airline partners, which will help them achieve Medallion status faster. SkyMiles members will receive retroactive credit of MQDs on eligible partner flights dating back to the beginning of the qualification year, Jan. 1, 2015. MQD earning varies based on carrier, percentage of distance flown as determined by Delta and fare class paid.

Are 10,000 Mileage Awards Actually Available? 

I wanted to test out some flights to see if there was availability at the 10,000 mileage level and from what I found, it was offered only on short-haul flights.

However, searching for a flight between Phoenix-Los Angeles, I was able to several dates available at the 10,000 mileage level.

You can book Phoenix-Los Angeles one-way for 10,000 miles each-way.
You can book Phoenix-Los Angeles one-way for 10,000 miles each-way.

You could also book a one-way flight between Atlanta and Ft. Lauderdale for 10,000 SkyMiles one-way.

Delta is now offering one-way awards for 10,000 miles each on select routes.
Delta is now offering one-way awards for 10,000 miles each on select routes.

My Thoughts

If there’s one thing certain about Delta, it’s that they’re always changing their SkyMiles program, and this latest announcement proves that again. One of the positives with these changes is that domestic one-way awards are going down to 10,000 SkyMiles each way for travel through December 31, 2015, if you’re able to find them. Of the several routes I searched, I was only able to find them on short-haul flights so don’t plan on booking New York- Los Angeles for 10,000 SkyMiles.

However, in this announcement, Delta mentions that they are implementing a 21-day minimum advance purchase for “several popular Award destinations”. Doing some initial research, it appears that they are blocking low-level award space within three weeks of departure, and not a complete 21-day minimum, but if you see routes that are blocked out completely, feel free to comment below.

Lastly, Delta is now counting partner airline tickets to earn Delta Medallion Qualifying Dollars, so for those who fly on partner airlines and credit to Delta, you’ll now be able to earn Medallion Qualifying Dollars.

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What are your thoughts on the latest Delta changes? Feel free to comment below!

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